Toward a Biology Worthy of Life > From Physical Causes to Organisms of Meaning > Brief excerpt
A project by Stephen L. Talbott

There are two kinds of explanation (2)

By contrast, the because of physical law applies to things that do have more or less precisely defined and delimited relationships, which therefore lack a meaning-driven character. We need not appeal to “what makes sense” in a larger, more richly expressive context, because a proposed physical law is either “obeyed” or not, despite any look of the eyes or gesture of the hand. A thrown ball respects the law of gravity even if a strong wind is blowing it this way or that. Whereas each detail of a meaningful text gains its significance from the way many contextual elements color and modify each other, we observe the lawfulness of a physical event by isolating (as far as we can) a precisely defined and invariant relationship. The physicist’s strong preference is for strict mathematical laws.

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